Island Council hears Spring Break crime, commerce stats during workshop
By KEVIN RICH
Special to the PRESS
On Wednesday, June 14, the South Padre Island City Council held its second public workshop on the topic of Spring Break.
Mayor Barry Patel was greeted with applause when he opened the meeting by announcing the passage of House Bill 4029, authorizing the City of South Padre Island to use Municipal Hotel Occupancy taxes for expenses directly related to construction, improvement, equipment, repair, operation and maintenance of City-owned coastal sports facilities.
Patel went on to explain the bill covers the construction of boat docks, ramps and fishing piers that are used by hotel guests. “From our estimation, it should generate about a half a million dollars that can now be used on the bay side for sports fishing,” Patel said.
Police Chief Randy Smith led off the City staff presentations of data collected on the impact of Spring Break. For the period of March 1 through April 30, the City experienced a 14.6 percent increase in police service calls in 2017 as compared to the previous year. Chief Smith’s data also showed an increase in the number of accidents — 234 in 2017 as compared to 191 the previous year.
Traffic stops increased from 376 in 2016, to 509 in 2017, however, the number of traffic citations issued dropped slightly, from 96 citations issued in 2016 to 84 in 2017.
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